Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 19/20
In what could prove to be an enjoyable Copa del Rey showdown on Wednesday night, Valencia will welcome Celta Vigo to the Mestalla.
Starting with the hosts, while Valencia might have found themselves at the heart of an infamous La Liga relegation scrap last season, Ruben Baraja’s squad have come roaring back this time around. Now dreaming of the chance to book a famous European ticket in 2024, the Bats certainly find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high. Picking up some perfect momentum over the weekend as they stormed their way to a stellar 4-1 romp away at Cadiz, Los Ches have won all of their previous four domestic appearances across all competitions. Continuing to revive a string of plaudits this season, Valencia will be hoping to make another statement of intent on Wednesday night. Opening the New Year with a 3-1 victory against Villarreal, the midweek hosts will also be excited by their extended success at the Mestalla. Along with snatching a 1-1 stalemate against defending champions Barcelona last month, Baraja’s side have not suffered a single domestic defeat in front of their own supporters since way back on September 27th.
Both away with Morocco and Guinea respectively at this month’s Africa Cup of Nations, Valencia will be without the duo of Mouctar Diakhaby and Selim Amallah on Wednesday night. Likewise, still dealing with an extended injury issue and not making a single appearance since the start of October, 23-year-old Andre Almeida will not feature here.
Both getting on the scoresheet away at Cadiz over the weekend, the young duo of Diego Lopez and Hugo Duro will lead Valencia’s attack at the Mestalla. 21-year-old academy graduate Jesus Vazquez could be handed a full recall in midweek.
As for the visitors, although Celta Vigo might still be looking over their shoulder at a looming La Liga relegation scrap, it does appear that Rafa Benitez’s side have turned a welcomed corner. Although some in the Sky Blues’ camp might have been disappointed after only collecting a 1-1 stalemate away at Mallorca over the weekend, they have lost just one of their previous nine domestic appearances across all competitions – a run that stems back to a 4-3 loss at the hands of Athletic Bilbao on November 10th. Opening the New Year with an eye-catching performance on home soil as they pinched a 2-1 win against Real Betis, the former Newcastle boss will also take plenty of solace from his side’s rugged success on the road. Aside from an action-packed 3-2 loss against Villarreal last month, that is the only defeat that Celta Vigo have sustained in their previous six contests away from Balaidos over the past two months.
Away with the Ivory Coast at this month’s Africa Cup of Nations, 27-year-old Jonathan Bamba will not feature on Wednesday night. Likewise, all missing out over the weekend through respective injury issues, Celta Vigo are expected to be without both Carl Starfelt and ex-Benfica midfielder Franco Carvi.
Finding the net in back-to-back La Liga appearances since opening the New Year, one-time Liverpool misfit Iago Aspas could have a leading role to play here. 20-year-old starlet Miguel Rodriguez could be handed a full Copa del Rey return in midweek.
Key Factors to Consider
- When Valencia and Celta Vigo last met back on November 25th, Wednesday’s opponents played out a 0-0 stalemate at the Mestalla.
- Valencia have won all of their previous four domestic appearances across all competitions.
- Likewise, Celta Vigo have suffered just a single defeat from any of their last nine appearances.
- Valencia have not suffered a single domestic defeat in front of their own supporters since back to September 27th.
- Four of Celta Vigo’s last five away fixtures have finished with both teams getting on the scoresheet.
While Wednesday’s opponents might have played out a 0-0 stalemate when they last met at the Mestalla on November 25th, neutrals could be treated to a far more enjoyable affair here. Although Valencia might have won all of their previous four domestic appearances across all fronts, Celta Vigo have certainly turned a welcomed corner over the past couple of months. Losing just one of their last nine showdowns, we are expecting chances to fall at both ends of the pitch in midweek. With Wednesday’s guests seeing four of their previous five away fixtures finish with both teams finding the net, we are expecting a similar outcome here.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 19/20